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How to improve interdisciplinary cooperation within Leiden University?

Tuesday 7 February 2023
PLNT, Langegracht 70, 2312 NV Leiden

A Liveable Planet Event – Tuesday 7th of February 2023

Hereby we would like to invite you to the event: “How to improve interdisciplinary cooperation within Leiden University?” Feel free to share this invitation with others inside your network.

As one of the 9 interdisciplinary programs of the university, the Liveable Planet program aims to foster collaboration between researchers from the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences across Leiden University so that we can tackle sustainability issues together. Just like the other interdisciplinary programs we encounter limitations in optimally cooperating among faculties.

Therefore, Liveable Planet intends to facilitate the ongoing discussion on how to stimulate and organize interdisciplinary research and education for sustainable societal transformations.  The central question of the afternoon will be: how can we promote inter- or even transdisciplinarity in sustainability research and teaching in our university, and what changes are needed in terms of for instance the organization, culture, and funding of the university?

Doors open 
Introduction by Jan Willem Erisman
14:00 Keynote speakers & Panel Discussion

  • Pieter Slaman (FGGA): A historical perspective on interdisciplinarity within the university - ‘On the unity of scholarship, science and the Leiden academic community, 1945-2022’
  • Karin Horsman (Director of Strategy and Academic Affairs): Interdisciplinary collaboration – what does the outside world want from universities?
  • Panel discussion with Deans Jasper Knoester (FWN), Jan Koolen (FdA), and others

15:15 Break

15:30 Parallel Sessions (see description below and indicate choice in registration form)

16:30 Plenary wrap up

17:00 Drinks and bites in Café Midi @ PLNT

Description Parallel Sessions

  • Session 1: Science for science’s sake, or is there more?
    What is the goal of science? Is it mainly about curiosity-driven research that may or may not contribute to solving wicked problems? Or should we actively steer towards finding ways in which our research can have a positive societal impact? Are we doing enough by educating mono-disciplinary students, and by giving them the opportunity to broaden once they graduate? Or should we seek to adapt the curriculum? In short: Is science there just for the sake of science, or is there more?
  • Session 2: Interdisciplinary science - how do you fund and organize it?
    It is well accepted that to guide transitions and change society, a development toward inter- or even transdisciplinary working is necessary. However, the funding structures for research and education do not directly encourage interdisciplinary work within a university. They do so between universities in the Netherlands (NWO, ZoMW, NWA) and in the EU (Horizon 2020). If you want to increase interdisciplinarity within specific universities, you have to tilt their structure, paying careful attention to the way they are organized and financed, but how do we do this?
  • Session 3: Young Liveable Planet
    In this session, we collectively set up Young Liveable Planet (YLP), a subset of Liveable Planet in which we pay special attention to interdisciplinary and trans faculty research and collaborations of young researchers. Many young researchers at Leiden University are working on sustainability topics in their PhDs and postdocs, but they have difficulty finding each other outside of their own institutes. However, we see value in connecting young researchers and learning from each other’s experiences, academic perspectives, and research. Liveable Planet wants to contribute to such a network, and we especially invite PhD candidates and Postdocs to attend this session and brainstorm with us about YLP: what are your needs in this arena, and how could we design YLP in such a way that it meets those needs?

Please indicate your choice of parallel session when filling in the registration form. If you have any questions, you can contact us by sending an email to liveableplanet@science.leidenuniv.nl. We hope to see you on Tuesday the 7th!

Liveable communities – Liveable Planet

The Liveable Planet programme is one of the nine interdisciplinary programmes that were launched at Leiden University in 2020

Leiden’s Liveable Planet programme aims to combine scientific, policy, socio-cultural and historical/archaeological research at Leiden University into coherent research with which we can tackle the major challenges of a transition to a habitable planet with ecological sustainability. The programme will  serve as a hub for the wide range of relevant research carried out within Leiden University and welcomes interaction with colleagues interested in contributing to the initiative within as well as outside of Leiden University.

Liveable communities – Liveable Planet

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